Panacea and Serum Institute enter pact for hexavalent vaccine


Vaccine maker Panacea Biotec on Thursday said it has signed a pact with rival Serum Institute of India to source the critical Injectable Polio Vaccine (IPV) component from the latter for its own Hexavalent vaccine.

Panacea’s fully liquid whole cell pertussis (wP)-IPV-based hexavalent vaccine is a six-in-one pediatric combination vaccine that provides protection against six diseases including Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis,
Hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenza type B and Polio.

The hexavalent vaccine is easier and more convenient to store and administer to children than if all its constituents were stored separately. It also improves overall vaccination compliance.

According to the deal – Serum will ensure supply of IPV, an important constituent of the Hexavalent vaccine, in bulk to Panacea Biotec from its Dutch subsidiary Bilthovan Biologicals, which has the technology and expertise for making IPV.

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Panacea and Serum have said that in the next two years, both companies will work to introduce wp-IPV-based hexavalent vaccine in the National Immunisation Program of The Government of India, and in other developing countries by working closely with key stakeholders such as national governments, World Health Organisation (WHO), Global Alliance for Vacccines and Immunisation (GAVI), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and other United Nations agencies.

“Children in developing countries with an annual birth cohort of approximately 121 million will get an easy access to a fully liquid Hexavalent vaccine,” said Rajesh Jain, Managing Director at Panacea Biotec.

“It’s an historic deal,” said Adar C Poonawala, CEO, Serum Institute of India. “With the convenience of ‘Six-in-One’, it has potential of over 250 million doses in next 3-4 years with a market size of over USD 1.25 billion annually,” Poonawala said.

In July 2012, Serum bought a 100 percent stake in the loss-making, Netherlands government-owned Bilthoven Biologicals. It invested 70-80 million euros in Bilthoven over the next three years to upgrade capabilities. The acquisition provided it access to the Injectable Polio Vaccine (Salk) technology and a large capacity, available in only three plants globally.

The Poonawalas of Serum hold close to 15 percent stake in Panacea Biotec, making them the largest shareholders in the company after its promoters.

Shares of Panacea Biotec gained 7.05 percent and were trading at Rs 275 on BSE at 2 pm, the benchmark Sensex gained 0.94 percent to 35,410.65 points.moneycontrol